New Jersey residents aren’t always aware of all of the legal ramifications of criminal charges when it comes to the most serious of crimes — homicide.
The state considers the most serious of homicide charges to be first-degree murder. This felony charge requires forethought of evil intentions towards the victim or the victim died during the commission of another felony. For a murder to be committed, the victim must die from another person purposefully and knowingly killing them. Otherwise, they later die due to bodily injury of a substantial nature that they suffered at the hands of their killer.
Sometimes, murder isn’t the intended crime, yet a person dies during the commission of a crime or while a perpetrator is trying to escape from the scene of a crime they already committed. Accidental deaths can fall under this statute of New Jersey law if they occur during a felony.
Those who perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate crimes when the victim or another person dies face the same serious penalties as murder. Those crimes include:
— Sexual Assault
— Sex Crimes
— Criminal Escape
If a defendant is convicted of felony murder or first-degree murder in New Jersey, he or she can be imprisoned for 30 years to life. These sentences can be imposed without the possibility of parole, as when a police officer is killed in the line of duty or the victim is younger than 14 years old.
Those facing prosecution on these serious charges should always protect themselves from self-incrimination. After being arrested, remember that you have the right to speak to a criminal defense attorney before being questioned by police.
Source: FindLaw, “New Jersey First-Degree Murder Laws” Dec. 30, 2014